Despite climbing gas prices and the credit crunch causing consumers to spend less, recreational vehicle owners continue to drive their RVs, according to industry experts.
“The RV industry is down, but fuel prices are not the cause,” said Kevin Broom, speaking for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) to The Post Standard, Syracuse, N.Y. “The prime reason is what we are seeing on Wall Street and the availability of credit.”
Those who are interested in buying an RV may have difficulty securing a loan to finance their purchase. Only about 65% of those who apply for an RV loan are approved, down from recent years, Broom said.
However, current RV owners are still using their vehicles, but adjusting their travel patterns. They tend to choose vacation spots closer to home, according to the RVIA.
The costs of travelling by RV are often still lower when compared to other modes of transportation. Family vacations via RV are, on average, 27% to 61% less expensive than other types of vacations, according to a study conducted by PKF Consulting, an international firm specializing in travel and tourism. This is partly due to the additional hotel and restaurant costs that are typically part of traditional vacations.
Dave Wright, an employee of Gamlen’s Trailer Sales, in Cicero, N.Y., agreed that existing RV owners are adjusting their usage.
“They are holding onto their units and parking locally,” Wright said.
He also noted that although RV sales are down, sales of other RV parts and accessories are up. Truck covers sell particularly well, Wright said, because they yield better gas mileage for the vehicles.